DMK backs Raja to the hilt; Karuna plays caste card

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Chennai, Feb 3 (PTI) Backing former Telecom Minister ARaja to the hilt, DMK today said his "mere" arrest in 2Gspectrum scam does not make him guilty and played the Dalitcard saying he and the party were being targetted because theyformed the pillar of the "downtrodden or Shudras".

DMK''s strategy to throw its weight behind Raja a day afterhis arrest was unveiled at its highest policy-making bodywhich slammed opposition parties for "blowing the issue out ofproportion" and said their only evidence was the CAG report.

The General Council meeting presided over by DMKPresident and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said in aresolution that "mere arrest" of Raja did not make him guiltyand claimed the CAG had given a similar report during the NDArule on the spectrum issue but none had raised any voice then.

Making his first remarks on the arrest of Raja at apublic meeting, Karunanidhi drew an analogy from the Hindumythology comparing his party colleague to King Mahabali whohe said had to suffer for the good things he did for thepeople, and due to upper caste people.

''''Like that, Raja, a Dalit, had made available mobiletelephony services at affordable cost to the poor. He issuffering for that now,'''' he said.

According to legend, Lord Mahavishnu, taking the avatar ofmidget Vamana, banished Mahabali, a benevolent king, to thenetherworld after ''Devas'' driven by jealousy about hisprosperous rule sought the Lord''s help to get rid of him.

Karunanidhi charged the opposition parties with targetingRaja and DMK because they formed the "pillar of thedowntrodden or Shudras".

Virtually launching the party''s campaign for comingassembly polls, he indicated that development and DMK''speformance would be focus of the campaign, suggesting thespectrum scam was not a major issue.

Karunanidhi also came down on a section of the media forcarrying "malicious reports" against DMK "in a bid tounseat" his government.

Earlier, amid speculation that Raja had offered hisresignation from the party post, DMK spokesperson T K SElangovan told reporters "as of now, he continues to bepropaganda secretary".

Asked if the Raja episode would hit DMK''s prospects in theAssembly polls due in May, Elangovan said the party would faceit on the basis of its performance and several welfare schemesit had launched.

He claimed Raja would come out clean.

The General Council resolution also recalled Karunanidhi''searlier statement that he would not hesitate to take actionagainst Raja if he was proved guilty.

The meeting was attended by Karunanidhi''s sons - UnionMinister M K Alagiri and Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin anddaughter Kanimozhi, MP, among others.

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